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Like Mother, Like Daughter: Helping Those in Need


Kara Lightburn won’t be holiday shopping on Fifth Avenue.

“When it comes to the materialistic part of the holiday season I can’t handle it,” she said. “I’ve changed.”

Lightburn had just flown into New York from Haiti, where she is helping Dominicans of Haitian ancestry who have been pouring over the border into Haiti. In 2013 the Dominican government ordered that all Dominican Haitians must prove Dominican lineage with ancestral birth certificates dating from before 1929, or be expelled. An estimated 200,000 people may become stateless. Lightburn said that the mere act of traveling home for the holidays has taken on a new meaning.

“I see how restricted other people are in traveling,” she said. “The people there are dealing with the statelessness and no visas.”

On returning to New York, Lightburn sat on a panel held at Fordham to discuss the crisis. Before the event she checked in with colleagues from the Institute of International Humanitarian Affairs (IIHA), where she is pursuing her master’s degree, and then met with her mother, Anita Lightburn, PhD, a professor in the Graduate School of Social Service and director of the Beck Institute on Religion and Poverty.

Read the rest of the story in Inside Fordham.


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